• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Do you think that Beatrice and Benedick are well-matched? 'the two bears will not bite one another when they meet'- Claudio, Act II Scene 2 'Thou and I art too wise to woo peaceably'- Benedick, Act V Scene 2

Extracts from this document...


24th October, 2005 GCSE ENGLISH Item Two: Shakespeare MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Do you think that Beatrice and Benedick are well-matched? 'the two bears will not bite one another when they meet' - Claudio, Act II Scene 2 'Thou and I art too wise to woo peaceably' - Benedick, Act V Scene 2 We are first introduced to these two characters in Act I Scene 1, but before the two characters actually meet, there is a discussion about Benedick between Beatrice, Leonato, Hero and the Messenger. In fact, the very first thing that Beatrice says is: "I pray you, is Signor Mountanto returned from the wars or no?" In this question, Beatrice is inquiring as to the whereabouts of 'Signor Mountanto' who in fact is Benedick. From this quotation, it is possible to argue that Benedick always seems to be on Beatrice's mind and that they are well matched, for he is the first person to whom she refers. The quotation also conveniently anticipates us for Benedick's entrance. When he does eventually enter, it is evident how well-matched the two really are owing to their similar perceptions of how to live their lives. In their 'merry war', there are 'skirmishes of wit': "I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me." This metaphorical statement impresses on the minds of the audience the thought that Beatrice is actually much more fond of Benedick than it appears. ...read more.


There is dramatic irony at Benedick's expense as the audience and the other three characters know where Benedick is while he thinks they don't. The exact same thing happens to Beatrice, but in this case Hero, Ursula and the audience hold an advantage over her. In each of the gulling scenes, the two have to listen to the people saying such things about them that they never thought about before and, since they cannot reply because it would give away the fact that they are hiding, they have to listen to what is being said; this is how the two receive their educations about themselves. In Benedick's gulling scene, his friends rebuke him for being contemptuous of women ('hath a contemptible spirit'). In Beatrice's gulling scene, her friends castigate her for the same moral flaw, being contemptuous of men ('she is so self-endeared'.) The interesting thing to note is that, at the end of each gulling scene, the gulled one comes forward and delivers a soliloquy. In Benedick's case, he speaks in prose and admits disingenuously that he really did have feelings for Beatrice all along and, whilst he used to be against the idea of marriage, 'doth not the appetite alter?' Beatrice, however, speaks in verse and recognises the fact that she has been too proud of being a virgin ('maiden pride, adieu.') As a result of the gulling scenes, the two individuals undergo an education about themselves that convert them from hubris to nemesis and they resolve not to bicker like 'two bears' any longer. ...read more.


Is not that strange?' Beatrice appears shocked that Benedick has had the courage to say this, but it proves beautifully that Benedick really is now a complete man. It is not long, however, before Beatrice also says, 'I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.' This serene statement illustrates how Beatrice too has become a complete woman. In this exchange, the two no longer try and outdo each other like 'two bears that bite one another when they meet', but instead say how much they love each other in a mature manner. However, the atmosphere changes after just a few more lines when Beatrice demands something of Benedick that truly tests his feelings: 'Kill Claudio', basically telling Benedick to kill his best friend! Had these lines not been in the play, one would have thought that Beatrice and Benedick would have just professed their love for each other and tried to fix the Claudio-Hero problem together; however, they were never ones to 'woo peaceably.' At first, Benedick refuses to kill Claudio, yet by the end of the scene it is obvious that he feels so strongly for Beatrice that he actually resolves to challenge Claudio to a duel. Shortly after this vital scene in the growth of Beatrice and Benedick's characters, in Act V Scene II, Benedick's new sense of character is tested again, but this time by Margaret. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Much Ado About Nothing section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Much Ado About Nothing essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does Shakespeare Make Act 4 Scene 1 exciting and dramatic?

    3 star(s)

    After seeing them squabble with one and another. Now we see them declare there love, we are delighted for them. However Shakespeare again does not chose to end the scene with Leonato and Beatrice in love.

  2. Compare and contrast the characters of Benedick and Claudio in

    He relates Hero to the status of a savage animal, as if she isn't even human for the crime she has committed. The audience to the play would find this a devastating outcome, as they have seen Don John plot this, and it has worked to great effect.

  1. Compare and contrast the gulling of Benedick with that of Beatrice

    hunting imagery because both characters could only be caught out and fall for the deceit in this way. Another method used by Hero is condemning Beatrice's attitudes and behaviours towards Benedick and about love in general. Hero seems to use this as an excuse to further attack Beatrice.

  2. Much ado about nothing - A Comparison of the Scenes which show the Gulling ...

    When Hero and Margaret are talking about Beatrice they use more personal criticism towards Beatrice even when they know she is listening. They personify proud, disdain and scorn as being Beatrice.

  1. What is striking about Much Ado About Nothing is that it is written largely ...

    Save in the office and affairs of love" (2.1.153-154). However, it is interesting to note that when Claudio proclaims this he simultaneously decides to cease his attempts in acquiring Hero, in essence deferring to Don Pedro's whim. Additionally he contradictorily selects Don Pedro's friendship over the pursuit of Hero albeit his proclamations that love override friendships.

  2. Importance and Dramatic Presentation of Beatrice and Benedick.

    as these are taken so light-heartedly, the audience feels able to find these insults funny. One such example would be Beatrice telling Benedick that 'a bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.' Normally this could be viewed as a quite spiteful comment but the audience has

  1. The Tricking Of Benedick - What makes act 2 scene 3 dramatically effective?

    to war music and the tabor and the pipe refer to love music. Also he implies that Claudio ha started to speak elaborately and flowery since he fell in love. Then Benedick says, "he was wont to speak plain and to the purpose and now is he turned orthography."

  2. How does Shakespeare use the characters of Beatrice and Benedick to bring out the ...

    his character when the song is finished and he says 'hath he been a dog that should have howled thus, they would have hanged him' relating to Balthasar's singing voice. After all this the humour in the scene comes more from the way Don Pedro and co.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work